When it comes to purchasing a home, many people skip the first and most important step, talking to a mortgage lender. Many people assume that they need to find a house they like first or think they will have no problem getting financing. Unfortunately, those people often hit road blocks in the process because they chose not to talk to a lender first. By starting with the finance step, you're able to get a better idea of what amount you'll qualify for. Once you know what type of homes you can afford, you'll be able to determine how much of a down payment you need to save up for. You'll also be able to identify any credit issues you may need to resolve before starting the buying process. Get all your numbers in order before starting the house hunting process.
2. Find a Great Realtor to Help You Through the Process.
Once you've talked to a lender about financing, you're going to want to find a good buyer's agent. A common misconception is that you end up paying more for your home when you choose to work with a real estate agent. That's not true, and in fact, is often the opposite. While a buyer's agent does get a commission from the transaction, the seller is the one that pays those fees. When you have a buyer's agent, that knows how the process works, they can help negotiate and often get you a better deal on the home than you would have on your own. A Realtor you can trust is key for any home purchase.
Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions you will ever make, which means you'll want to be smart about it. Think about what your future looks like and what type of home you'll need for that. Maybe you are newly married and it's just the two of you for now. Do you plan to have children in the future? Will you have a parent that may need to live with you in the near future so you can take care of them? You should consider these things when looking at homes. Instead of purchasing something to fit your needs now, think about having room to grow. On the flip side, you also need to think about what you can afford. Once you've talked to a lender, you'll have an idea of what you could be approved for. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you need to purchase at the highest price in your budget. Don't stretch your budget too thin; you'll want to leave room for unexpected expenses.
4. Start Shopping for a Home, but Be Patient.
The process of looking at homes can be both exciting and frustrating. Be sure to take your time and shop around. Like we mentioned before, this is one of the largest purchases you will ever make, so you don't want to rush into a decision too quickly. While you will need to be open to compromise, make sure to separate your list into needs and wants. You likely aren't going to find a home with everything you desire. If you have a good agent, they're going to help you find the best homes for you to look at. Don't feel like you're pressed to make an offer on the first home you find that fits your needs. Try not to get emotionally invested in a property; think about your needs and budget to make the best decision for you and your family.
5. Make an Offer and Schedule an Inspection.
Once you've made an offer on a home, you'll want to schedule a home inspection. The home inspection is one of the most important steps of the buying process. This step ensures that the home does not have any structural damage or other issues that need to be addressed. If the inspection reveals major issues, you'll have the opportunity to negotiate your offer with the sellers or even withdraw it completely without penalty. Before the sale closes, you will have the opportunity to do a walk-through to ensure any agreed-upon repairs have been completed.
After everything has been agreed upon by both parties, you'll need to complete the required paperwork. Your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender and/or your realtor will arrange for a title company to ensure that the seller is the rightful owner of the property you are purchasing. At the closing, you will sign all the paperwork required to finalize the transaction. While the paperwork can be confusing to many people, your lender and your agent will be there to work through everything with you and answer any questions that you may have. Be sure to ask a lot of questions so that you fully understand everything about the real estate transaction.
If you're ready to start the process of purchasing a home at the Lake, give me a call at 573-746-7211 today. As your mortgage lender, I'm here to work with you every step of the way, from mortgage pre-approval to the day of closing. I'll discuss your Lake of the Ozarks home financing options, offer competitive interest rates and back it up with the first-class service you deserve. Together, we'll get you into the Lake home of your dreams!
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Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712
4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.